Dear St. Paul’s family,
One of the foundations of our Anglican tradition is the Daily Office, which means the short services of Scripture and prayer that all Episcopalians can do at different times of the day. For centuries, Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer have been said daily in cathedrals, and St. Paul’s is no exception. Anyone can lead the Offices – you don’t have to be ordained. The offices are a simple way to establish prayer as a regular part of your day. You can even do them on the road, using the Mission St. Clare phone app. Ideally, though, you would join us in the cathedral on some kind of regular basis. We currently have a mix of clergy and lay people who lead the Offices in our chapel.
Evening Prayer in English is broadcast live on the “St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral” page on Thursdays.
Until now, we have needed a staff member with a key to lead Morning Prayer, but with construction under way, the campus will be opened earlier in the morning and it will be possible for a volunteer to lead. If you feel called to a regular ministry of leading Morning Prayer, perhaps one day a week or twice a month, please contact the cathedral office and we will put you in touch with the staff member who will be opening on those days so that they can let you into the cathedral.
While the Offices can be said by one person alone, we try not to have someone alone in the cathedral in the early morning or evening with the doors open, for safety’s sake. It is also impossible to see who is coming and going by the North Porch door from the chapel. If the officiant is alone, we usually keep the doors shut unless we know others are coming. Obviously this isn’t an ideal situation, and we would much rather have the doors open until the service begins. We can do this if we make two changes to the usual routine: one is to have at least one additional person committed to attending, and the other is to allow access by a door closer to the chapel.
For Evening Prayer, we will have a policy of the sexton on duty being in the church for the 10-15 minutes of the service. For Morning Prayer, we need volunteers, as the sextons don’t come on duty until 1 pm. Please consider signing up!
As for access, we will start opening the western door to the South Transept on Nutmeg Street 5 minutes before the start of the service. People using this door, located behind the organ console, are easily visible from the chapel. It will be the officiant’s responsibility to open and to close the door securely after the service. Signs will be posted around campus directing attendees to the appropriate door (remember, the campus is closed before 9 am and after 5 pm).
I hope you will consider making Morning and/or Evening Prayer a regular part of your day.
Your sister in Christ